Flow development in the discharge of a compressor

Scott Wujek, Pega Hrnjak

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Compressors produce a flow of oil droplets propelled by refrigerant flow while fully developed flow maps predict predominantly annular flow. This discrepancy is rooted in the lack of understanding of flow development. A newly developed video processing technique was used to quantify numerous flow parameters. The measured drop size, drop speed, drop concentration, film thickness, and film velocity were used to determine the migration of oil between drops and film as it flows from the discharge of a compressor. A model has been created to describe the development of flow leaving a compressor as it transitions from mist to annular flow. Parameters such as refrigerant flow rates, oil in circulation ratios, and fluid properties are accounted for in these models. While some flow development literature modeled deposition or entrainment for air-water or steam-water flows, little work is available for air-conditioning applications. Due to the drastically different properties of refrigerant-oil mixtures from air-water mixtures, the existing models were modified using physical principles to incorporate the differences in fluid properties. The model closely approximates empirical results from the measurements as well as published values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication24th IIR International Congress of Refrigeration, ICR 2015
PublisherInternational Institute of Refrigeration
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9782362150128
StatePublished - 2015
Event24th IIR International Congress of Refrigeration, ICR 2015 - Yokohama, Japan
Duration: Aug 16 2015Aug 22 2015

Publication series

NameRefrigeration Science and Technology
ISSN (Print)0151-1637


Other24th IIR International Congress of Refrigeration, ICR 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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